Projection Mapping 101

Out of décor ideas? Try this tech tool

A beach meeting in the middle of winter? Improbable—that is, until projection mapping.

Similar to augmented reality, projection mapping is a video projection technique that casts imagery on blank surfaces, such as a wall or stage, though the surface doesn’t have to be smooth. With projection mapping, any 3D object can be made into a canvas. Consider Chicago’s current “Art on theMART” installation, for example, where artwork is projected and publicly displayed on the outside surface of the iconic Merchandise Mart building.

One part visual display, one part technological wonder, planners can use projection mapping to host immersive, transformative events—like a beach bash in the dead of winter.

Here’s how it works: Once a photo or video is selected, the imagery is formatted to fit its canvas so that it appears painted on, rather than distorted by the surface texture.

The only question is, what should you project? Here are a few of our favorite inspired ideas:

Outdoor Scenes

Want to transport attendees to another time and place? Consider setting the scene with projection mapping. For planners who don’t have time to fuss with intricate design elements, cast your scene in one fell swoop with video instead. 

Meeting Menus

If your meeting includes multiple courses or dish options, save paper and project the meeting menu instead—just make sure the font is readable. 

Creative Logo Displays

You spend so much time creating your meeting logo, why not flaunt it? Project your logo around the venue—and, while you’re at it, your event hashtag, too. That way, attendees get an extra reminder of what to tag in their social posts.   

Art Displays

Not every venue is, well, picture-perfect. Add some pizzazz to your meeting space with projected artwork.